Archive for the 'Turkey' Category

Obama does not understand who Putin is

Sunday, November 3rd, 2013

Interview with Daniel Pipes by Olga Doleśniak-Harczuk*

1.Will Bashar al-Asad comply with the demands of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons or not? And what will or could the Obama administration do when Asad will not comply?

Although initial reports indicated that Bashshar al-Assad is complying with OPCW demands, I would be surprised if he continues with this because the chemical weapons are crucial to his maintaining power. I expect the Obama administration to attack Syrian government installations without expecting or even wanting this to make much difference in the course of the civil war.

2.Does the U.S. – Russian agreement solve the crisis in Syria or not?

Not at all; it only deals with chemical weapons, not the much larger question of the civil war. Put in numbers: the chemical weapons accounts for just 1 percent of the civil war fatalities until now.

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Christendom’s Greatest Cathedral to Become a Mosque

Sunday, June 23rd, 2013

by Raymond Ibrahim*

While unrest in Turkey continues to capture attention, more subtle and more telling events concerning the Islamification of Turkey — and not just at the hands of Prime Minister Erdogan but majorities of Turks — are quietly transpiring. These include the fact that Turkey’s Hagia Sophia museum is on its way to becoming a mosque.

Why does the fate of an old building matter?

Because Hagia Sophia — Greek for “Holy Wisdom” — was for some thousand years Christianity’s greatest cathedral. Built in 537 A.D. in Constantinople, the heart of the Christian empire, it was also a stalwart symbol of defiance against an ever encroaching Islam from the east.

After parrying centuries of jihadi thrusts, Constantinople was finally sacked by Ottoman Turks in 1453. Its crosses desecrated and icons defaced, Hagia Sophia — as well as thousands of other churches — was immediately converted into a mosque, the tall minarets of Islam surrounding it in triumph.

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What Turkey’s Riots Mean

Thursday, June 20th, 2013

by Daniel Pipes*

Rebellion has shaken Turkey since May 31: Is it comparable to the Arab upheavals that overthrew four rulers since 2011, to Iran’s Green Movement of 2009 that led to an apparent reformer being elected president last week, or perhaps to Occupy Wall Street, which had negligible consequences?

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Power and Rice: A recipe for more global leftism and jihad, more state control and fewer freedoms

Saturday, June 8th, 2013

By Gary Gerofsky

This past week U.S. President Obama made Susan Rice his new National Security Adviser and Samantha Power his ambassador to the UN. Both women have the kind of credentials, loyalty and temperament that Obama needs to go full steam ahead on his second term agenda which includes the Obamification of the world, further apologizing for America, weakening the U.S. at every opportunity and saying “sorry” by supporting the most dangerous players on the world stage. The President is effectively giving up America’s position as defender of freedom and promoter of democracy and Judeo-Christian values. The Pax Americana era has long since disappeared. The safety derived from strength has disappeared. A state of vulnerability has resulted from political correctness and contrived shame that Obama conveys as a mea culpa for the U.S. having once been a dominant nation.

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The Good News in Turkey

Thursday, June 6th, 2013

by Daniel Pipes*

How to interpret the recent unrest on the streets of Istanbul and about 65 other Turkish cities? Specifically, is it comparable to the Arab uprisings over the last 2½ years in Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, Syria, Yemen and Bahrain?

On one level, they appear unrelated, for Turkey is a far more advanced country, with a democratic culture and a modern economy. But two connections — autocracy and Syria — do tie them together, suggesting that the Turkish demonstrations could have a potentially deep importance.

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Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan Praised at White House as He Puts Knife In U.S.’s Back

Tuesday, May 21st, 2013

By Barry Rubin

Consider five factors that had no effect on the very warm reception given by President Barack Obama to Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan:

–While the U.S. government has pressured Erdogan not to visit the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip, Erdogan announced in the White House Rose Garden that he would do so. An alleged U.S. ally says publicly in front of Obama while being hosted by him that he is going to defy the United States.

This is not some routine matter. With previous presidents, if an ally was going to do something like that he would say nothing at the time and then months later would subvert U.S. policy. Or better yet the foreign leader would not do so. To announce defiance in such a way is a serious sign of how little respect Middle East leaders have for Obama — and U.S. policy nowadays — and how little Obama will do about it.

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The Problem with Turkey’s “Zero Problems” – Turkey, Past and Future

Saturday, March 2nd, 2013

by Ilias I. Kouskouvelis*

Under the Justice and Development Party (Adalet ve Kalkınma Partisi, AKP), Turkey’s foreign policy has been associated with the prescriptions and efforts of three men: Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, President Abdullah Gül, and Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu. Davutoğlu, a former international relations professor, has been the most articulate exponent of the troika’s ideas, penning perhaps the most authoritative summary of its worldview in his 2001 Stratejik Derinlik (Strategic Depth)[1] and coining its foremost article of faith: a “zero-problems policy” with Turkey’s neighbors because Ankara “wants to eliminate all the problems from her relations with neighbors or at least to minimize them as much as possible.”[2]

This might all be well and good if such words were supported by actions. But Davutoğlu has also described Turkey as a “heavyweight wrestler,” hinting that it may use “the maximum of its abilities” when dealing with its neighboring “middleweight wrestlers.”[3] A survey of Ankara’s relations with these “middleweight wrestlers” reveals its “zero problems policy” to be little more than a cover for the AKP’s reasserted “neo-Ottoman” ambitions.

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Is Turkey Leaving the West?

Thursday, February 7th, 2013

by Daniel Pipes*

Recent steps taken by the Government of Turkey suggest it may be ready to ditch the NATO club of democracies for a Russian and Chinese gang of authoritarian states.

Here is the evidence:

Starting in 2007, Ankara applied three times unsuccessfully to join as a Guest Member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (or SCO, informally known as the Shanghai Five). Founded in 1996 by the Russian and Chinese governments, along with three (and in 2001 a fourth) former Soviet Central Asian states, the SCO has received minimal attention in the West, although it has grand security and other aspirations, including the possible creation of a gas cartel. More, it offers an alternative to the Western model, from NATO, to democracy, to displacing the U.S. dollar as reserve currency. After those three rejections, Ankara applied for “Dialogue Partner” status in 2011. In June 2012, it won approval.

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What Is Genocide? The Armenian Case – Turkey, Past and Future

Tuesday, January 29th, 2013

by Michael M. Gunter*

Shortly after the World War II, genocide was legally defined by the U.N. Genocide Convention as “any… acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such.”[1] The key word from the perspective of this article is “intent.” For while nobody can deny the disaster wrought on the Armenians by the 1915 deportations and massacres, the question is whether or not it can be defined as genocide—arguably the most heinous crime imaginable.

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Did the Armenian Genocide Inspire Hitler? – Turkey, Past and Future

Wednesday, January 23rd, 2013

by Hannibal Travis*

It is well known by genocide scholars that in 1939 Adolf Hitler urged his generals to exterminate members of the Polish race.[1] “Who speaks today of the extermination of the Armenians?” Hitler asked, just a week before the September 1, 1939 invasion of Poland.[2] However, while it is generally agreed that Hitler was well aware of the Armenian genocide,[3] some genocide scholars and historians of the Ottoman Empire have questioned whether he actually made the above statement or even intended to exterminate portions of the “Polish race.”[4]

Still, there is evidence that the massacre of the Ottoman Armenians helped persuade the Nazis that national minorities posed a threat to empires dominated by an ethnic group such as the Germans or the Turks. Furthermore, these minorities could be exterminated to the benefit of the perpetrator with little risk. Indeed, it was German officials who had smuggled out of the Ottoman Empire the leaders of the Young Turk regime, culpable for the deaths of over a million Armenians and a million or more other Christian minorities such as the Assyrians and Greeks.[5] Diverse historical evidence suggests that Hitler viewed the Armenians and Poles as analogous; in several ways, his statement about the Armenians was consistent with his other beliefs and writings.

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Turkey, Closest to Leading the Middle East

Monday, January 21st, 2013

by Şenay Yıldız*

Translation of the original text: Ortadoğu liderliğine en yakın ülke Türkiye
Translated by Elif S. Gürbey

Founder and president of the Middle East Forum, Daniel Pipes is well known for his work on the Middle East and political Islam. Pipes, an award-winning columnist for the National Review and Jerusalem Post, writes commentaries and articles about the Middle East in leading media organizations such as the BBC, Al Jazeera, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and Washington Post. After visiting Turkey last month, Pipes, who has 12 books and numerous articles on Islam, Syria, and the Middle East, published an article in National Review Online titled “Talking Turkey.” We talked with him [in mid-December] about his impressions of Turkey and his expectations from the Middle East.

- When were you in Turkey the last time?
I was in Turkey two weeks ago. I visited in 2007 as well. My first visit to Turkey was in 1972. I spent the summer of 1973 trying to learn Turkish while living in Istanbul’s Üsküdar quarter … but I was not very successful at it.

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Islamic Supremacy Alive and Well in Ankara – Turkey, Past and Future

Wednesday, January 2nd, 2013

by Diana Muir Appelbaum*

Supersessionism refers to the belief that Christians have superseded Jews in a new covenant with God. Islam, too, sees itself as superseding all previous divine revelation but, unlike Christianity, which canonized the Old Testament embedding long centuries of pre-Christian history into the Christian narrative, Islam freely erases history itself. But Kemalist Turkey appeared to offer a revolutionary break with Islamic tradition when it established a secular republic on the ashes of the Ottoman caliphate. For decades it has been held up as a model of a modern, westernized, Middle Eastern democracy, that happened to have a Muslim majority. Closer examination, however, reveals substantial “continuity between the late Ottoman Empire” and the republic[1] as Turkish treatment of religious and ethnic minorities exposes an unacknowledged streak of Islamic supersessionism.

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Talking Turkey

Thursday, December 27th, 2012

by Daniel Pipes*

The menu for meals on my Turkish Airlines flight earlier this month assured passengers that food selections “do not contain pork.” The menu also offered a serious selection of alcoholic drinks, including champagne, whiskey, gin, vodka, rakı, wine, beer, liqueur, and cognac. This oddity of simultaneously adhering to and ignoring Islamic law, the Shari’a, symbolizes the uniquely complex public role of Islam in today’s Turkey, as well as the challenge of understanding the Justice and Development Party (known by its Turkish abbreviation, AKP) which has dominated the country’s national government since 2002.

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A Hamas Divided

Monday, November 19th, 2012

by Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi*

Whenever the Israel-Palestine conflict is in the news, too much ink is wasted over moralizing rather than analyzing. Instead of trying to explain what is going on, provide proper context, and predict reasonably what might follow, commentators bicker over who has the moral high ground.

These endless polemics do nothing to help.

A proper analysis should begin by noting that since the start of this year, there has been a significant increase in rocket attacks on southern Israel from Gaza.

Operation Cast Lead, Israel’s attack on Gaza militants during the winter of 2008-2009, proved to be damaging for Israel’s image abroad. There was substantial loss of Palestinian civilian life and the initial Goldstone report accused Israel of deliberately targeting civilians. But the military operation achieved its goal of at least substantially reducing rocket attacks from Gaza.

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Effective Sanctions on Iran — Oxymoron

Sunday, November 18th, 2012

by Yoram Ettinger, The Ettinger Report

Twenty eight years of unilateral and multilateral US-led sanctions, accompanied by diplomatic pressure and cyber sabotage, have failed to deter Iran’s Ayatollahs from approaching nuclear capabilities.

Fifty years of proliferated sanctions — since the 1962 military coup in Burma — have been largely unsuccessful in changing policies of rogue regimes.

In fact, the US focus on sanctions and engagement — rather than confrontation — has facilitated Iran’s nuclear drive. It has provided Teheran with more time to develop and acquire critical nuclear capabilities.

Sanctions have effectively eroded Iran’s economy. Sanctions have been ineffective in diverting Iran from its nuclear path.

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